We frequently hear of African companies acquiring other African companies, or of foreign companies acquiring African companies. We, however, rarely hear of African companies acquiring foreign companies.
What MFS achieves with this deal
MFS Africa is the largest fintech interoperability hub in Africa. With over 320 million customers, it connects banks, telcos, and money transfer operators across over 35 countries via a single integration point.
GTP, on the other hand, is a prepaid and mobile payment platform that integrates several prepaid cards with a single bank account and allows users to shop online. Over 500,000 users across 30 countries use GTP’s platform.
MFS Africa’s acquisition of GTP will offer MFS Africa 2 things: the fintech will be able to offer its users prepaid cards, and the deal will see the fintech expand into the US.
According to MFS Africa CEO Dare Okoudjou, “It’s mostly for international e-commerce platforms, which are not able or willing to create the user experience that will accept mobile.”
MFS Africa’s acquisition strategy
MFS Africa’s secret to growth and expansion lies in its acquisition strategy.
While this will be fintech’s first off-continent acquisition, it has acquired 3 other African startups in its bid to expand its digital payments network. In 2016, MFS Africa acquired Sochitel—a company that specialised in international airtime transfers into Africa—and the acquisition, according to MFS Africa, helped create the largest transfer payment network which focuses on Africa. In 2020, the company acquired Beyonic, a Ugandan fintech delivering payment management solutions to SMEs. Last year, it acquired Baxi in what was called “Nigeria’s second-largest Fintech acquisition deal”.
All these acquisitions have helped push MFS Africa closer to its vision of having a presence in all 54 African countries, and serving 500 million people and millions of MSMEs.
Its latest acquisition will help it reach millions more, according to CEO Okoudjou.
The company has also announced that it has struck a deal with Spotify which will see the music platform accept mobile money as a payment option in Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa.